A couple in Chicago is being accused of joining an Orthodox Jewish community in order to covert its members to Christianity. Rivkah Weber, 29 and David Costello, 37 were recognized at synagogue by a man from Brooklyn who alleges that the couple did the same at a temple in New York.
The Daily Mail says that Weber and Costello were identified by a synagogue member from Brooklyn and notified Rabbi Levi Notik, spiritual leader of the FREE center in Chicago who confronted the two, and they acknowledged their beliefs.
“They have beliefs of Kefira and Christianity. He doesn’t deny any of it, on the contrary, he insists that he is correct in his way, and has no regrets.”
Word spread throughout the community who felt conned by the couple, and the social media posts went viral, alerting anyone who didn’t know already that the couple was trying to convert religious Jews to a belief in Jesus. One post stated that the couple joined the Chicago community for the “purpose of proselytizing.”
Included in the post was a picture of the couple with Weber dressed modestly with her head covered, and Costello, her husband wearing a yarmulke or kippa with grown out sideburns. Both admitted that their goal was to get the community comfortable with Jesus.
David and Rivka Costello found out to be non-Jewish evangelists trying to convert Jews to Christianity https://t.co/zjXO9p4rjW
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) May 24, 2019
It’s unclear whether Weber and Costello are Messianic Jews, or are still following their Christian upbringing. Costello gave a statement which said he wants to enlighten the Jewish community, and he spoke using Yiddish and Hebrew.
“We want Jewish people to recognize Yeshua as Moshiach and as a Jewish Messiah.”
He says that they live the life of Orthodox Jews and keep a kosher home, but they are being accused of putting on a front to deceive the community, which he asserts isn’t true. Costello says he was raised Christian in New Jersey, and his wife, Rivkah, whose real name is Rebekah was raised the same in North Carolina.
Documents prove that Costello has been employed by a company called Golden Gates, which is a Christian Fellowship church in Texas, and they served as missionaries initially in Brooklyn in 2016. A statement from the Johnson County Fellowship League admitted that the two were adherents to the teachings of Christianity, but live among the Hasidic.
Costello and Weber were asked to leave the congregation as most members felt betrayed by their secretive agenda. The rabbi stated that in retrospect, there were clues that the two weren’t really Orthodox, but in an effort to be welcoming, they were overlooked.